battery replacement

Hi, I need a new device and I have a few Qs that I should have asked the pacing clinic.  Wonder if anyone could help?

Does anyone know whether there is a particular device/model that the NHS tend to implant for sinus node disease/AV block - dual chamber pacing? The clinic mentioned Medtronic / Boston Scientific.  

Also I have an existing Sorin device and it is over ten years old. Will the old pocket be too large for the new smaller devices manufactured now and if so will I need any additional surgery on the pocket? 

The last Q is about the scar.  My GP tells me that they use the old scar but the clinic said otherwise - bit confused. I'd like them to use the old scar. Can this be done? 

Thanks in advance for any info. 






by Tracey_E - 2019-11-24 21:49:49

I have no idea what NHS uses but Boston has more sophisticated rate response than Medtronic, it uses your breathing where Medtronic only uses motion so if I had SSS, I would push for Boston, or stick with Sorin if it's been working for you.

If the new device is a different size, the body will compensate and adjust to the new one. I'm on my 5th, they've all been different sizes. The only reason I know they've been different sizes is they told me. 

Normally they go in through the same scar, however I have a friend in England who for some dumb reason they went in right next to the old one so she has two parallel scars. Crazy!!! Have a chat with the surgeon, make it clear what you want. Mine have all been through the same place. 


by dwelch - 2019-11-25 02:20:57

I have had some metronics a st jude, and currentlywith a boston scientific.  32 years ago they were huge compared to today, your body will take care of the pocket. (as well as they may tighten up the pocket when the cut/stitch)   They have all used the same pocket (on device number 5) for me, not always over the same scar, but I didnt care and didnt ask, one mentioned they were going to do that, others didnt.  You can certainly ask all of these questions including where the incision will be and see what they say.  In my case my EP was not always the surgeon, sometimes yes sometimes not, so ask that too, are you doing the surgery or someone else?  Can I meet with that person before and ask some questions.

The major brands are all fine, medtronic, st jude, boston sci, etc.  They may rotate you through brands or not, depends on how it works where you are doc/practice/insurance/service.  With my current EP they have the device a week or so before and program it, set it up like the prior one.  The leads and brands mate up just fine I have a medtronic a guidant and a boston sci lead in active duty (switched from two lead to biventrical last time around, a lead from number one broke when putting in number two thus the mismatch there)

Find a doc you trust, trust the doc you find.  Let them choose the device, thats their job, your job is to let them know what activities you are doing or would like to so they can choose a device that may be more suited to that.  Might be bigger might be smaller, it is what it is.  Being this far in to be ready for a replacement, you probably have an idea of how well you are doing on the current device.  It doesnt do this for me it does do that for me, would really like a higher upper limit, etc.

Just take it easy and cruise through this, its not like the first one, you have worked through most if not all of the anxieties, you have done this before so you know how to get through the first few weeks/months.  The settings should be the same, your leads are well secured to your heart so it all should just be a smooth in and out same day, feel the same when you wake up from a heart perspective, recovery from the surgery you are already a pro at.




Thank you !

by Marmite - 2019-11-25 06:13:16

Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure I'll have any choice on the device TraceyE as cost may be the deciding factor under the NHS, but thank you for your advice which is very useful.  Thank you too to DWelch and AngieSparrow for your kind and helpful posts.  

I'm very bothered about another scar. I don't want another one but have been told they always use a new site. I'm in my fifties and at this rate I'll be covered in scars!.There are no problems with the previous scar and it healed fine, so I really don't understand this at all.  

Thanks ALL re: the pocket advice. Not looking forward to the operation at all, but hoping for plenty of sedatives and a smooth procedure.  




new scar

by Tracey_E - 2019-11-25 10:58:18

Going in a new place is not at all normal! I would try to push back on that one. 


by islandgirl - 2019-11-25 11:07:03

I recently found through my EP's office that the hospital contracts through the device companies to get the best prices, not my EP.  I found that very interesting.  So, if I selected one of the hospitals he works in, they just implant St Jude, where another one is Medtronic and something else.  


by Marmite - 2019-11-25 14:22:14

Hmm...wonder why I'm being told this about a new scar then? They've told me scar tissue doesn't heal. 

Also interesting re: the contracting. Assume you are referring to the CCG's (Clinical Commissioning Groups) who do the contracting on behalf of the Trusts - makes sense! I suspect this will determine the model I get. Will try to find out more, but thank you very much for all the useful info. 

Best Wishes


healing scar tissue

by Tracey_E - 2019-11-25 16:31:51

I have one friend in England who was told the same thing and they went in right next to her old scar. I have never heard of anyone else being told that. Mine have all been in the same place and it heals up just fine. Maybe you've got the same surgeon she had? 


by Marmite - 2019-11-26 04:39:34

Maybe, I will definitely have a word and push for using the same scar. Thank you for the advice. It's really helpful. 

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